Solar Energy

solar panels
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Last year, two nuns from Pakistan visited Paonia. Sister Samina Iqbal and Sister Maria Daniel came to the North Fork Valley to take more classes at Solar Energy International. Through the nonprofit school, the nuns with the Sisters of Loretto have learned how to install and troubleshoot solar systems. Samina and Maria say they are the only women in Pakistan doing solar installation. And, they’ve set up systems at missions, schools and homes.

  Newscast

  • Region 10 seeks 5 million dollars for fiber optic internet
  • County Judge passes away
  • Fruit growers grapple with freezes, constant rain
  • Officers cleared in fatal shooting
  • Solar program wraps up for the North Fork

The solar energy business is growing fast, thanks in part to a steep drop in panel prices.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

Solar historian and author John Perlin speaks with Ali Lightfoot about his book "Let It Shine" which delves into the rich and often unknown history of solar energy dating back several millennia ago.

Jake Ryan

With pushes for greener technology and scientific advancements, the future of America's electricity is changing. 

The solar power business is growing quickly in the U.S. More than 500,000 homeowners and businesses installed solar panels in just the first half of this year, according to a Solar Energy Industries Association report.

When people get electricity from the sun, they don't buy it from their local power company. But that utility still must have the generators and power lines to provide electricity when the sun is not shining. That's creating conflicts across the country.

The cost of solar panels is falling rapidly in the United States. And as the panels become more affordable, they're popping up on rooftops around the country.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is trying to find better ways to back up its power system against blackouts. And while it may seem counterintuitive, more solar power does not mean fewer blackouts — at least not yet.

The tiny town of Del Norte, in southwestern Colorado, is a perfect example. Despite being covered in solar panels, Del Norte is still at risk of losing power if its main power line goes down.

Ali Lightfoot/KVNF

For the past few months, KVNF’s Programming Director Ali Lightfoot has been helping local kids produce radio stories as a part of our youth reporting project, Pass the Mic.

The project is now in its second year and is a collaboration of KVNF and the North Fork Heart and Soul Project. The stories these kids produce tackle a number of contentious issues, one of them being the energy industry. 

 

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